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For the past two decades, Vice President (former Senator) Joe Biden has been working to end violence against women. On June 20, 1990, then-Senator Biden introduced the Violence Against Women Act in Congress. This landmark piece of legislation “changed the way our country responded to domestic violence and sexual assault.” (http://www.whitehouse.gov/1is2many)
The legislation changed how law enforcement and the criminal justice system respond to violent acts against women and strengthened penalties against offenders. Since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, rates of domestic violence have decreased by more than 50 percent. (Criminal Victimization by M. Rand)
As Vice President, Biden has continued his efforts to protect women and advocate on their behalf. After taking office, he appointed the first ever White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, Lynn Rosenthal, who advises the Vice President on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault and serves as a liaison to the domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy committee.
In September 2011, Vice President Biden launched the 1is2many initiative, which uses technology and outreach to spread the message about reducing violence against women, especially teens and young adults.
According to the 1is2Many website:
- 1 in 5 young women will be a victim of sexual assault while they are in college
- 1 in 9 teen girls will be forced to have sex
- 1 in 10 teens will be hurt on purpose by someone they are dating
Recently, 1is2Many released a Public Service Announcement, featuring both President Obama and Vice President Biden, as well as celebrities: David Beckham, Jeremy Lin, Eli Manning and others.
“Due to the fact that young women today ages 16 to 24 experience the highest rates of violence at the hands of someone they know, the PSA’s target audience is men of this same age group,” said the White House.
Watch the PSA below:
Along with the campaign against domestic violence and sexual abuse, last summer, the White House launched the ‘Apps Against Abuse’ technology challenge. Winners of that challenge were:
- Circle of 6 - iPhone app that makes it quick and easy to reach your circle of supporters and let them know where you are and what you need with just two touches. The app uses text messaging and GPS to communicate and locate you when needed.
- On Watch - iPhone app that lets you transmit critical information by phone, email, text and social media to your support network. Check in with friends and call 911 or campus police with just two touches. The app also allows users to set countdown timers that send messages and GPS information automatically if events or activities don’t go as planned and connect to sexual assault, dating violence and domestic abuse hotlines.
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